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but in reality, when we look at the pages of the new testament, we find that from the very beginning, diversity characterized the earliest believers. whether they were jewish christians or gentile christians, the christian message and the christian church has always lived in this tension of diversity. >> and the church has gradually and slowly built up a fuller and fuller understanding of what it is to be human in the image of god, trying to be honest to the jesus who walked in galilee and delivered the sermon of the mount. and also trying to be honest to the lives we lead in the 21st century. and that will always be intention, always. >> christianity has survived many powerful attempts to kill it off, and today, many of the issues that occupied the first christians are once again causing us to debate, challenge, and to believe or not 2,000 years after jesus. tonight, finding faith and purpose this holiday season. >> there's so much bad news in the world. we need good news. >> america's pastor rick warren joins me.
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>> people say i fell out of love. that's your choice. >> he talks religion, reason, and what america needs now. >> the good life isn't good enough. what you need is the better life. >> the election, the economy, same-sex marriage and more, to the issues that really matter. >> you know why we have to change the constitution? it was a flawed document. it was made by men. >> what does god mean to you? this is "piers morgan tonight." >> good evening, and happy holidays and welcome to a special "piers morgan tonight." joining me, one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world, rick warren. we're going to talk about politics, sins, and much, much more. he's the author of "a purpose driven life." >> it's good to be here with you. >> what is the purpose of christmas? >> you know, the angels in the story the first christmas said three things.
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those three statements say the three purposes of christmas. they are celebration, salvation, and reconciliation. first thing the angels said was, i bring you good news of great joy. which shall be for all people. by the way, christmas isn't just for christians. they say it's for all people. good news for joy, it's a time to party. i love in the northern hemisphere, christmas comes at the darkest part of our year, kind of lightens up everything. there's so much bad news, we need good news. i bring you good news of great joy. it's legitimate to have parties. for unto you is born this day a savior, christ the lord. we all need saving. but there's a lot of other salvations, too. a lot of people need to be saved out of their finances, they need a financial salvation or a relationship salvation or a physical salvation from an
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illness or something like that. it's a time to look to god for salvation. and in the third, it says you will have peace on earth, good will toward men. that's the reconciliation. and you know as well as i do that a lot of times people go home for holidays. it's anything but reconciliation. a lot of bad relationships. a time for forgiveness. a time for reconciliation, a time to restore harmony. i say, have fun, look to god, and get right with your friends and neighbors. that's the purpose of christmas. >> interesting to me that you say it's open for everybody. it's a misconception that it's only for christians. >> it says for all people. in fact, this christmas, my message is called for all people. when i started saddleback church, we were a lily white anglo church in 1980 when i started it. today, our church speaks 67 languages. >> really? >> we're literally a united nations. >> do you get people from all over?
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>> yes. >> how do you tally, then, the christian scriptures and teachings with say a muslim or a jew or whoever it may be? >> we're an overtly christian church. i believe jesus is who he said he is, the son of god, but we welcome all people of all persuasions and we say check us out. when jesus went out and started his ministry, the first phrase he said, he's walking along the jordan river and john the baptist had a couple guys following him, and he said, there goes the lamb of god. go follow him. and andrew and john said, where are you going, lord. and here are jesus' first words, come and see. that's about as low a commitment as you can ask, just check us out. we say you don't have to say anything, sign anything, sacrifice anything, just check out us out. >> american is going through a slight down draw, if you like, in attendance in churches.
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1 in 5 are now religiously affiliated. 1 in 3 under 30 are religiously unaffiliated. now, britain, for example, far worse statistics than that. so america remains a very religious country, but why do you think it's on decline? >> there are three different factors. one factor is the actual number of atheists in the country has remained the same since 1950, but they're simply more vocal. that is true. second, some of the surveys out there asking questions are asking the wrong questions. i think there was a pew survey that asked a question about protestantism, and then there was a big article saying the decline and fall of christian america, and it said protestants in america have dropped precipitously. of course they have. i don't know a single person who
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calls themselves protestant. sometimes the question may be wrong, but i think also during the last decade, the term evangelical became not a theological but a political term. a lot of people were turned off by the politics. everybody know that president george bush was a, quote, evangelical, so you must be in favor of the gulf war, or you must be in favor of this. it caught co-opted as a political term, and any time you do that, you're going to have separation. >> george bush when he was president used his faith and his evangelical adherence to almost turn the conflict in iraq and in afghanistan into a kind of holy war. and i thought that was a very dangerous thing for an american president to do. and re-enforce when i always believed, you have to separate church and state.
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>> i think you're right in that, but let me give a counterpoint. he also used his faith to authorize the greatest single health bill in history for people of aids. pepfar, which was the president's emergency plan for aids relief was a $15 billion bill. in the last ten years i have been in 164 countries, and i have people who say my husband is alive because of president bush. he literally saved hundreds of thousands of people. >> i'm the captain. >> yeah. >> and my issue with catholicism, i have issues with every religion, and i'm not the most devout catholic you would ever meet, but i was raised a pretty devout catholic. i can't equate what the pope says about contraception, particularly condoms, in africa. i can't see how it doesn't cost millions of lives to say as the poem, where there are so many catholics in africa, there are two uses for condoms. one is for, you know, prevention of conception. and the other is prevention of disease. and if we're using it for
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prevention of disease, i indorse it. >> i would side with you on that. i'm not a catholic. i do defend the right of catholics to believe what they want to believe. and what i have found in our working with people around the world to, for instance, reduce aids, my wife and i -- >> do you campaign a lot on aids? >> oh, yeah, we have a foundation called acts of mercy which has given millions of dollars to people with hiv/aids. what we do is work with people as far as they can go. i don't have a problem with contraception, but i'll work with catholics to stop aids as far as they can go. i'll work with gays as far as they can go. i'll work with anybody as far as they can go. so i don't insist that they change their fundamental view in order to say, where do we have common ground? so i may not agree on that issue, i am an evangelical, i don't have a problem with contraception, but i have a view -- for instance, if a jewish person says we don't eat
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pork, fine, i support you in your conviction, don't eat pork. and i don't think you should be forced to eat pork or even sell it. >> you're one of those evangelicals who use moderate language, you appear to be more tolerant. i could set you up to challenge that a bit, but certainly when you talk to someone like joel olsteen, who i like and respect very much, he'll start talking about sin and sinners and all the rest of it. we're in a modern age where if you start to use that kind of language, you brand sections of the community sinners because you believe that's what the bible has told you to say, you're demonizing these people. i find that hard to deal with. don't agree, everyone is entitled to their view, but i don't like the demonizing. >> a sin is real, no doubt about it. i believe everyone has sin in their life.
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i believe the scripture tells me to focus on my own sin and to focus on loving you. a lot of times we get that reversed. i'm always focused on your sin and loving myself. >> you are focused on my sin, you would be a lot older looking than you are. i don't believe that. >> i have a harder time with myself, you know. years ago, the london times did a survey, a contest. they said write an essay on what's wrong with the world. g.k. chesterton wrote that letter which said two words, i am. when i wrote "purpose driven life" the first sentence of it is it's not about you. i actually was trying to think of the most counterculture statement i could think of because everything in our culture teaches us it's all about you. every advertisement says we do it all for you, it's all about you. it was kind of a little slap in the face that says it's not about you. what is interesting is when i
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wrote that, i had no idea how many times i would personally be tested on that sentence for the rest of my life. sometimes i have to say that five, ten times a day. if i get criticized, i say, it's not about you. if i get praised, i say it's not about you. if i have a major problem or delay, it's not about you. i say it over and over and over. >> do you like the extraordinary position of responsibility you now have for yourself? >> i don't say that i like it, but i try to use it. and actually, i try to use it as what i call the stewardship of affluence and influence. when i wrote "the purpose driven life" and it became the best selling book in american history and the most translated book in the world, that brought in an enormous amount of money and an enormous amount of attention. honestly, it scared me. it scared me because i didn't want to be a celebrity. that's why i never put our services on television.
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i didn't want to be a celebrity. i had to start praying about the stewardship of affluence and the stewardship of influence. it's tens of millions of dollars. i could have gone and bought an island and retired and had people serve my iced tea with little umbrellas in it for the rest of my life, but when you write a book saying it's not about you, you have to figure the money is not for you. that was the easy part, giving it away. the harder part is what you're talking about. what do you do with not the affluence but the influence. one day i found a passage in the bible that changed my life. written by solomon, the son of david. he was the wisest man, the wealthiest man, the king of israel at the apex of power. he said, god, i want you to make me famous. it sounds like the most self-centered prayer you can imagine. i want you to give me influence, give me power, spread the fame of my name to every country. until you read the motivation behind it.
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in it, he says so that the king may support the widow and orphan, defend the defenseless, release the oppressed and prisoners. he says care for the immigrant. and out of that passage, it came to me, the purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence. the reason i have been silent in the media most of the last four years, i was overseas in little villages nobody ever heard of. i was literally trying to help people who nobody ever heard of. the purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence. >> let's take a little break. i want to come back and talk to you about sex and marriage. sin and how many lustful thoughts you have on an hourly basis. hey, look! a shooting star!
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. all marriage problems come down to one of five areas, money, sex, in-laws, communication, and children. when cay and i got married, we went five for five in the first month. and our marriage was down down down. >> pastor warren talking about something many people relate to. i work out the permutation. money, sex, communication, in-laws, and children all go down in the same month. pretty dramatic. >> a gallup poll shows the number one cause of divorce is money.
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during this last four or five years in economic recession, as a pastor, i have had to deal with a lot of marriages under enormous stress when either one or both are out of work. it puts additional stress on everybody. >> it really does, doesn't it? people lose their sense of purpose. they haven't got a job, for example. their sense of identity. >> we choose our identity. >> their sense of self-worth, their pride. there's nothing worse than being unemployed in terms of your pride. >> one of the things i try to teach people is that your value has nothing to do with your valuables. that your self-worth has nothing to do with your net worth, and that the greatest things in life aren't things. they're not things. and when we -- anything we put in our lives before god actually becomes an idol, and it could be a good thing, but it also creates enormous insecurity. how do you know when there's something in your life that's not god that's number one in your life?
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there's a symbol, worry. worry says i'm assuming responsibility god never intended me to have. >> when you see americans rushing out in their millions to play the lottery, power ball, whatever it may be, desperate to try to win an amount of money that would change their lives, is it healthy? >> no, it's not healthy. the book of proverbs multiple times says it's foolish to do try to get rich schemes. that's what vegas is about, get rich quick or power ball. >> but if somebody wins a lot of money, and then they devote a large chunk of that to helping needy people, people less fortunate than themselves, does that balance it out? >> the studies show -- no, it doesn't. the studies show people who actually win the lottery, it doesn't really usually change their life for the better because you still have the same problems that you had all along. and money can't solve those. what money does, money gives us opportunity.
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so if i have more money, i have more opportunity. that's a good thing. i'm not against people -- i want people to prosper. but it's not the end all -- what we think we want is the good life. and the good life is looking good, feeling good, and having the goods. the problem is i talked to a lot of people. my church is filled with people who have those three things. they're white-collar workers, they look good, they feel good, they have the goods. a lot of books have come out recently and said if i'm so successful, why do i feel like a fake? the reason is because the good life isn't good enough. what you need is the better life. and i think that's what jesus offers. when i was a little kid, my parents served me strained spinach. i thought that was really tasty. today, i think parents should be imprisoned for child abuse for serving that because it's pretty nasty stuff. but i thought strained spinach was really good until i got older and they fed me chef
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boyardee spaghettios. and then i found in-and-out burger. i tell people, you're living the good life, but if there was a better life, wouldn't you want to know about it? i'm not one of these pastors or preachers who say i'm trying to scare you out of hell and into heaven. i say, you need the lord in your life, not because you're going to die tonight but because you're going to live tomorrow. you have to live tomorrow, and you need not the better life, the good life, you need the better life. >> you and your wife have been married 37 years. very long and successful marriage. have you had big problems in that marriage, if you're honest? >> absolutely. in fact, our problems actually started on the honeymoon. we had a very unusual courtship. i took my wife out on our first date, and eight days later, we were engaged. before we had a second date. and then at the end, we were
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going to college together, at the end of that year, she moved to birmingham, alabama, to work in an inner city african-american church. i moved to nagasaki, japan, to teach english. our entire courtship, we were apart. it was by letters. when we actually got married, we knew we were in love with each other, but it was like, who are you? and my wife and i are as exact opposite in every detail of our dna except our commitment to each other and the lord. and the thing that made us last is we closed this escape hatch, locked the key and threw it away and said divorce is not an option for us. we're going to make this work if it kills us. at times, it nearly did. at one point, i ended up in the hospital over depression over our marriage problems. cay thought she was having a nervous breakdown. we went to a counselor, a christian counselor. at that time, i was working at a college and making $800 a month, and my counseling bill was $100 a week.
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we wracked up a $1,500 bill, and i look back and say, was it worth it? are you kidding me? i would pay a million dollars for what i've got today. my wife is my best friend. i know some famous people, but i would rather spend time with my wife than anyone else. i often think i should do a commercial saying mastercard, priceless. saved my marriage. people say i can't afford it, i say, you can't afford not to. how much is your marriage worth? >> do people give up too early? >> i think so. you're an imperfect person and you're going to maryanne imperfect person, so two imperfect people can't have a perfect relationship. we often expect people, our mate, to fulfill in us, in our lives, something only god can fulfill, and you're going to be disappointed. no person can possibly meet all your needs. >> what happens if you marry quite young, in your early 20s, and everyone knows you change a
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lot in the next decade, and you get to your mid-30s and you think, i don't want to spend the rest of my life with someone i'm completely incompatible with, i'm not in love with. what do you do? >> before you get married, opposites attract. what makes you interesting is you're different from that person. >> if you know in your heart it's dead. >> before you marry, opposites attract. after you get married, opposites attack. the very thing that interested you now becomes an irritation. all of those things you thought were really cool, you're now going, can't you be a little more like me. here are the things i have learned. love is a choice. it is a choice. you love who you choose to love. when people say i fell in love, they make it sound like falling in a ditch, like i had no control over it. you have no control over attraction. you do have control over choice. and so once you have chosen, people say, well, i fell out of love.
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that's your choice. that's your choice. you can choose to work on it. here's what i have noticed, piers, the greater the differences in a marriage, the more powerful a marriage becomes if they will work at it. the very thing that drives you apart, if you'll work on it, you will learn the most from that person. they will learn the most from you. >> hold that thought. i want to take a break. i want to come back and ask you my trademark question. you teed it up nicely. how many times have you been properly in love? >> okay. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work.
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right now in america, pastor rick warren. rick, how many times have you been properly in love in your life? >> probably in my teenage years, i fell in love every week. >> that doesn't really count. >> you know, i bet i fell in love two or three times. and actually, each girl i fell in love with, the next one was better suited for me than the one before until i found cay, and she was the best suited of all. given the right situation, you can fall in love with anybody. you could put two people on the right island, the right circumstances. you could fall in love with anybody. it takes more than love to make a marriage work, and just because you fell in love with somebody doesn't mean you should marry them. there are a lot of other factors involved. >> when you have fallen in love
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with a woman, it feels completely natural. >> it's not only natural, it's euphoric. it doesn't stay. >> why do you have such a problem with a man who quite naturally falls in love with another man? or a woman with another woman? but why can you not allow them to have that euphoria that you had with all of the rights that go with that kind of relationship? >> great question. the bible says you can love anybody. there is nothing in the bible that says a man can't love a man. in fact, there are many examples of men loving men in scripture. the bible just says you can't have sex with everybody. i fall in love with lots of different women. doesn't mean i should have sex with them. what's often framed as a love issue is not the issue. in fact, i am commanded to love everybody. i as a believer in jesus christ, i am not allowed to hate anybody. i am not allowed to disrespect anybody.
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i am commanded -- in fact, jesus said if you don't love everybody, you don't really love me. >> you say you're a tolerant man, and i don't dispute that, yet last time i interviewed you, you got into hot water with a lot of the gay community because you said the reason you were opposed to gay marriage, for example, is not everything is natural, like a gay attraction. >> yeah. >> it's good for you, and you compared it to arsenic. >> can i pull that back? >> yes. >> i stand by the statement that not everything natural is good for me, but the illustrations were stupid. i pull it back. i disavow it. it was a dumb thing to say. >> you realized afterwards. >> it sounded defensive. this is an issue. there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with somebody. there is something wrong with being offensive. >> that's my point about it. i think i have complete respect, having been brought up a catholic, many catholics are
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anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage. i have got no problem with respecting their views. the moment i start hearing the kind of rhetoric that kirk cameron, the "growing pains" star came out with on the show, gay lifestyle being the abomination of the world, i get very angry because i think, i'm not gay, but if i'm gay and listening to this, i'm thinking who the hell are you to tell me i'm the abomination of the world. people would look at you as one of the great -- you're voted one of the most influential men in the world for your teaching and books. they look at you for guidance in a time when america in particular is going through an incredibly fast change in attitude to many things. what are you going to do in your gilded ivory tower, responsibility of influence as you see more and more american states supporting and voting and making legal gay marriage. are you going to continue saying to people who come to your
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congregation, it is just wrong? >> well -- >> or could you see a time when you may say, you know something, america has changed, i'm prepared to change? >> i don't see that happening because i have a world view based on scripture that remains unchanged. opinion changes. popular opinion changes all the time. what was popular in the 18th century isn't popular in the 19th, 20th, 24th. if you build your life on popular opinion, you're on shifting sand. in fact, science changes. nothing is more worthless than a science textbook from the '50s. >> the word shouldn't change from the original constitution, surely. >> my words aren't based on the constitution. >> i get that, but what it is is about fairness and equality. i went to see "lincoln" the movie a few weeks ago. it was a riveting movie. daniel day-lewis was great as lincoln. it was all about how he fought in his last few months as president to get slavery
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abolished. there were millions of americans who thought slavery was acceptable who were outraged ought what he was doing. he knew instinctively it was just wrong, unfair, unequal. >> and why did he know that? because it's in the bible. >> but we -- >> it's in the bible. he was building it on biblical truth. the bible says that every man should be free. >> right, but you don't think every man should be free and equal. >> no -- of course we're free. and of course we're equal. >> what does that mean? >> you can love anybody you want to. >> but you don't think a gay man or woman should be free to be married like a straight man or woman? what is freedom? >> what i oppose is redefining a term. now, let me explain this. you know jews, there's a group called jews for jesus.
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and jewish people don't like jews for jesus because they say, wait a minute, you don't get to redefine a term. if you believe in jesus, you're not really a jew. >> but if you -- >> let me make my point here. is that if a word means a certain thing, and it's not my word, and all of a sudden, i say, well i'm that. is that fair? is that right? >> you wouldn't have amended anything from the constitution? >> i'm not sure what you're saying? >> why would you ever have an amendment to anything in the constitution if you can't change the original wording or meaning? surely the point of all the amendments is they are moving with the times. recognizing certain words, phrases, meanings, were just plain not right. >> you're talking about two different understandings of the constitution. there are strict constructionists who say it means what it means. and there are those who say it means what i want it to mean today. >> the fact there are amendments
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to the constitution. >> of course, there are. you're mixing metaphors. >> i'm talking about the principle of changing your mind and being able to move with the time. which is what all the amendments to the constitution were basically about. >> you know why we have to change the constitution? it's a flawed document. it was made by men. my world view is the bible was made by god, not by men, and it doesn't change. >> you and i know the bible is in many places a false document. >> i don't agree with that. >> you think everything in the bible is accurate? >> i think the bible is true. not everything in the bible that is explained in the bible does the bible commend. for instance, there's rape in the bible. the bible is clearly against rape. if you open the bible, you'll find more rape, murder, incest, all kinds of problems. why? because the bible always tells the truth. why does it say holy on the bible? any other book, if it was writing about these great people in the past, they tend to gloss over their sins.
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>> wouldn't the bible say if you commit adultery, you'll be stoned to death? >> we say this is a civil law for the nation of israel. >> but it's still an element of the bible that is flawed. >> evidently, for that generation, that's their commandment. >> exactly my point. >> but it's not one of the moral laws. >> but it's something in the bible and it's flawed. >> i do not believe the bible is flawed. >> it's well intentioned but they are basically inherently flawed. hence the need to amend it. my point to you about gay rights, it's time for an amendment to the bible. >> not a chance. what i believe is flawed is human opinion because it constantly changes. in fact, we do it every eight years. in america, we have a change in opinion. what was popular, what was hot is now not. and i willingly admit, willingly admit, that i base my world view
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on the bible which i believe is true. and truth, my definition of truth is, if it's newark it's not true. if it was true 1,000 years ago, it will be true 1,000 years from today. opinion changes, the truth doesn't. >> we're going to agree to disagree on that. we'll come back and visit about children -- >> i like, we need more of this talk. >> i agree. the debates should always be respectful. and by the way, politics, too, the moment it becomes disrespectful and discourteous and then rude and then poisonous, you don't achieve anything. >> let's go to the gay issue. i don't see many people willing to debate it. it's either my way or nothing. i don't see anybody willing to actually talk about it. >> let's take a break, talk about children and charity when we come back. questions?
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right now with pastor warren. christmas for many people is an enjoyable experience, but for many people it's a depressing, sad, lonely time. how do you try to change the fact that christmas becomes this crystallization formany people of all that is terrible in their lives? >> right, when you attach any holiday to a memory, that's
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either good or bad, and if you attach it to good memories, of course, you're going to tend to repeat those. if christmas for you brings up a time of strife, conflict, i'm not with my family, we're divorced or we're separated, whatever, of course, and we know that's a very depressing time. my suggestion is that people develop a new habit. create a new habit and attach it to the holiday instead of continuing to look backwards. when i was 3 years old, i asked my mother, why do we have christmas? and my mom said, it's jesus' birthday. as a 3-year-old, my mind was, why don't we have a birthday party? i said, we can have cake and cool-aid, and a ladder and angels could come down and be with us. that year, we started a birthday party for jesus. this year, we will do that for the 55th time. >> really? >> in my life, it is a tradition, we call it birthday party for jesus. we do it on christmas eve.
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what we do, the family all gathers, whoever is there that particular year, and we go around the room. it is our family tradition to do two things. first, everybody shares one thing they're thankful for in the last year. but they can go on as long as they want to. it's a time of very meaningful sharing. then we say one thing i want to gif god or jesus for his birthday this year, and then we share that. then we sing happy birthday to jesus. the youngest kid in the family blows out the candle. we have an angel food cake, not devil's food cake. that's something our family looks forward to every year. when the kids were little, when we were little, the sharing was short and quick and laughter and giggles. as we got older, it got more meaningful. now that i have grandkids, it's short and fun like that. i think you can create a habit or tradition. create a new tradition to overcome the negativity that is in the past.
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>> you give away 90% of all your income. >> yeah, actually, we raise it every year. when cay and i got married 37 years ago, we started giving 10% away. that's called a tithe. then at the end of the first year of marriage, we gave away 11%, then the second, 12%. every year, we would raise it. when i got a bonus or a raise, we would raise it 3% or 4%. on the years the cupboard was bare, we would raise it a quarter percent because i wanted to be more generous every year. every time i give, it breaks the grip of materialism in my life. materialism is all about getting. get, get, get. get all you can, can all you get, sit on the can and spoil the rest. giving is the antidote to materialism. it makes me more like jesus. there's a verse that said god so loved the world that he gave. you can give without loving but you can't love without giving. so now we have raised it every
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year, and actually this last year, we raised it again. we now give away 91% and live on 9%. i played this game with god for 37 years. he says you give to me and i'll give to you and we'll see who wins. i lost for 37 years. >> do you know how much you're worth? >> no, no, i don't. i know that we're constantly giving it away. we have three different charities. one is called acts of mercy which helps those infected and affected by hiv/aids, which my wife leads, and helps orphans and vulnerable women and children around the world. we have another charity called training leaders. where we train leaders in villages around the world, and the third is called the peace plan, which is promote reconciliation, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, assist the next generation. i would say this to everybody who is watching. it's not a sin to be wealthy. it's a sin to die wealthy. in other words, money is a tool.
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and it can be used for good or for bad. money is neither good nor bad, but it can be used for good or used for bad. bill gates told me one time, rick, use money to save time. that's a brilliant idea. because you see, i only have 168 hours a week. we all have the exact same amount of time. we don't have the same amount of money. we have the same amount of time. once i spend that time, i'm never getting it back. you can always get more money. so if you use money to save time, that's a valuable investment of money. >> let's take another break and come back and talk about your diminishing status, i mean physically. you're wasting away. and apparently so are 15,000 other people. i want to talk to you about all this. we're all having such a great year in the gulf,
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you're making it part of your mission to take care of the temple of the soul. and that is not a place where as physicians we have commonly gone. we go to church, we don't speak about our bodies in church. this gives us an opportunity to change that equation. >> dr. oz talking at rick warren's saddleback church. you have lost 60 pounds with this diet program -- >> i have 40 more to go, though. >> it's obviously working very well. it's called the daniel plan. you and the church have been doing this together.
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15,000 people have signed up. they have shed a combined total of 250,000 pounds. how do you combine diet with prayer? >> it's funny how it started. first place, i never cared about how i looked. i didn't care how i looked. i was blessed with enormous energy, so i never paid attention. we baptize after every service. about a year ago, i was doing the baptism, and we do it the old fashioned way. i lift people under water and lift them out. on this day, i had 867 people to baptize. it took me about four hours. on about number 500 that i had lowered into the water and pulled up, i had a thought. it wasn't a very spiritual thought. it wasn't a pastor thought. man, we're all overweight. we're all fat. and then i thought, but i'm fat, and i can't expect other people to get in shape if i'm out of shape.
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the next morning at church, i got up and said, you guys, i need to repent. i said, i have -- i have only gained two or three pounds a year, but i have been your pastor for 32 years. so i need to lose 90 pounds. >> so give me the bullet points of how it works. >> well, i went out and got three doctors, dr. mehmet oz, doctor daniel amen, and dr. mark heyman, and oz said you have to know your height, waist, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. we took about 20 doctors at the church, set up a booth for a month, let people take those numbers. we opened a website called daniel where they could follow it. i thought maybe 200 people would sign up to show up. 12,000 of my members signed up. and as you pointed out, we have now lost over 250,000 pounds. i'm looking for the day that our church says we lost the equivalent of a jumbo jet liner. >> what are the key things you have to do?
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>> the number one thing -- of course, diets are diets. but the number one think about this, we do it in community. most people don't understand that saddleback isn't the sunday service. every time a journalist comes, they come on the weekend and see 20,000 people, they think that's it. the real church happens during the week in 6,000 small groups. we're the only church in america that has more people in bible study than on sunday. 20,000 on sunday. 32,000 in small groups. they go from santa monica to carlsbad. every one we have a health champion. >> what have you stopped eating or done? >> it was real simple. i cut out all whites, white carbohydrates. >> no bread, no pasta, no rice. >> which was heart for me because they don't call me pasta rick for nothing. that was my favorite.
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>> buboom. >> i cut out all white stuff. i personally cut out dairy, okay. i eat a lean protein, vegetables, and a little bit of fruit. >> do you drink alcohol? >> no, i never have. >> never? >> never have. >> never had a crafty nip at christmas? >> never have. never smoked either. >> let's take a final break. i want to have your final thoughts. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to.
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back for a final thought from pastor rick warren. we have millions watch, from around the world, who want to know what they should be thinking other than gorging themselves on turkey and fine wine. >> that message on christmas is the babe in the manger grew up, sinned in his life, died and rose again. you can have your past for giving, a purpose for living, you can have a home in heaven and it's all by grace. suppose that you, piers, gave me a christs
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